Unlimited access >

All weather outdoor arena

Ok, while we are on the topic, tell me what additives you have in your outdoor footing? I looked through some of the older threads, and I know materials have improved and changed over the years, so tell me what you have and love or what you have and regret! It looks like the rubber crumb trend has fallen out and the yoga mats are in. Does anyone have the hydrokeep? That product looks so interesting, but does it get too wet? Like after a rain, does it retain too much moisture and the arena stays soggy? Or it that not an issue because the % of product ratio to sand is not that high? Reading through old posts it looks like fiber is probably not a great option for outdoors due to drying out too quickly.

Do not waste money on the yoga mat/foam footing products unless maybe for a complete indoor environment. Half mine is already gone in a year because it floats away super easily and blows all over the property with even the slightest amount of wind. I kind of want to cry when I see how badly it has spread all over and past my property. Prior to that I had the Permaflex rubber tire mixed in and it was fine. Hardly floated out or blew around. In hindsight, should have stuck with that.

I rode at a place that put shredded rubber tire footing on, not a prepared base, just a graded area. Rubber is very good mulch, holds the moisture, and that arena was almost never usable because it was too wet.

This was in Maryland, so about 40" a year rainfall.

What are the rubber options that are not tires?

I have the Master Surfaces TexStride fiber. It’s basically carpet fibers. I’m still struggling to get it integrated in my sand as much as I would like, but even in just the top inch it makes a huge difference in stability. And I watered my ring once in early summer and haven’t needed it again. The fiber really helps it retain moisture. I’m very satisfied and it was way less expensive than most of the other fiber options.

When we constructed the ring, we went back and forth as to whether we should put in irrigation. I ultimately decided just to bring water to a hydrant next to the ring to allow for watering with a sprinkler, knowing we could always run irrigation later. So far, it seems that was the right choice given the very little need for watering.

Full disclosure, it’s just me riding two horses 3-4 times a week, so not a ton of use.


My rubber additive is shredded sneakers: https://id3413.securedata.net/stableandarena/footings.html. I got it “used” from a farm that replaced it with GTG (fiber) and most people ended up preferring the rubber. I have seen footing that’s 100% rubber and would never want that, but I’ve been very happy with this additive.

You’re likely not going to get breakout pricing that specific. There are too many variables. Tonnage is fair, but you’re not likely to get an hourly breakdown. Arena construction is it’s own beast and really can’t be compared to other construction types. I’m an Electrical PM FWIW.

Because you’re in Ohio and because of the water table conditions, I would not exclude the subbase and would seriously consider a perimeter drain. Speaking of perimeters, contain you sand so it doesn’t wash out!

You’ll get conflicting opinions from everyone. My best piece of advice is to find a contractor who has experience building arena’s and give them the freedom to do what the do best. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be involved, but find someone you trust enough you don’t feel you need to micromanage. Wait if you have to. Have realistic expectations - if you want an FEI quality arena, be prepared to pay for it.

If you do decide to incorporate an additive, get a sample of the mixture so you’re not surprised by the final product.

Don’t underestimate the importance of a proper drag and maintenance. I have seen people ruin their arenas quickly with improper maintenance.


Yes definitely planning on an exterior drain with 1 % slope crowned down the middle, and planning on a board around the perimeter to contain!